Information revolution: The maverick sovereign Individual

This person is characteristically outstanding. This self determined figure has a stout heart and of his own volition can set out to pursue a goal even if another interpret the approach to be outrageous or strange. He is more inclined to make success out of any endeavour he is committed to delve into especially with the leverage proffered by the information technology services and platform. Starting from the previous three stages in the organidation of economic life,namely, foraging, farming, industrialism and the current Information Age, this man – the idiosyncratic sovereign individual, has maintained the exhibition capacity of that survival instincts towards reaching his set goals in life.

Furthermore, he is indomitable, he is resilient, he perseveres, and he is stubbornly optimistic. He is that person who sees opportunities where pessimists see hell of obstacles and “impossibilities.” He is allergic to intimidation, not even one packaged by the oppressor under the cloak of the government can he cower before. He agrees with the national laws, policies and regulations that are not born out of malicious vendetta and submits to the wholesome laws that govern the economic and social conducts of a people. He is not a dissident and the intentions of becoming an elusive rebel is not among his priority. You already know what you can call this person – the eccentric self-governed community person.

Indeed, what prompted this write up is not unconnected with the recent razzmatazz popped up by the coalition of the executive and legislative arm of the government necessitating the making of a bill that penalises violators of “hate speech and fake news.” They are so passionate about it, sort of building mountain out of morlehill to the degree that they expect Nigerians to forget we actually have enough existing laws that address this kind of social infraction. They want to give the dog a bad name in order to hang it. But how much enlightenment are our awmakers bestowed with, is a striking question for which the answer will help us know for sure whose primary interest these pretentious politicians are elected to cover. Apparently, they are saddled with the sole constitutional responsibility to represent the members of the respective constituency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the national level for the welfare and progress of the people. With this kind of demostrated intention to stampede Nigerians who is otherwise generally perceived as exercising their inalienable human rights of freedom of speech, with the legislative hammer, needless to say what sort of 9th Assembly lawmakers we are yoked with, presently. Imagine remodified decree four (the once notorious killer decree of President Mohammadu Buhari during his military regime) “death penalty” for mere expression of one’s views on social media platforms pertaining topical issues in this 21st century and democratic dispensation. Tufiakwa! Aru Emee! It is not just abhorrent but it is clearly an act of inhumanity and wickedness of a man against his fellows.

The paradox of it all is that it was upon this ladder that the entire political elements who are today crying wolf and getting unnecessarily disgruntled over alleged unacceptable utterances made by the members of the public, that they used to climb up the top political positions they occupy presently. If only they can once uphold integrity and serve probity, they should allow this bill when successfully passed to apply retroactively, having been the pacesetters of hate speech all by themselves. Yes, the records are there. They are seriously indicted.

In the light of the topic, “hate speech proscription and fake news censorship” is tantamount to resisting new technology with old laws which seldom works out well. The man, the subject personality in here, will gallantly wade through whatever or whoever is conspiring to gag his mouth in synergy with his compatriots, and must always find a way to publish thoughts in prints for wider reading audience. If you think you can halt him… the more efforts you are making to hamper him, the more popular you are making him become, unknowingly. Best option is, let the tide flow supervised but not restrained. In describing the stellar performances and flourishing credited to the sovereign individual in this current Information Age, James Dale Davidson the author of The Great Reckoning said, “Tens of billions, then ultimately hundreds of billions of dollars will be controlled by hundreds of thousands, then millions of Sovereign Individuals. These new stewards of world’s wealth are likely to prove far abler than politicians in utilizing resources and deploying investment.” Conventional thinkers will agree with me that the Information Age really means more than the enhanced use of powerful computer gargets. It basically means a revolution in lifestyles, institutions, prudent disbursement of human resources and the impartial distribution of economic resources. For the fact that the role of covert violence in resources management will be sharply diminished, a new configuration of wealth will manifest, bereft of the coercive intervention by government that typify the twentieth century.

Conclusively, our man is inherently a cosmopolitan. He is not inhibited by space or impeded by territorial sovereignties or locality. Borders to him are frontiers to further his course and not barriers to limit his immense outputs. The government is, therefore, required to first have a rethink of its programmes as it affects the people and review the strategy to accommodate the exercise of fundamental human rights and the exploration to the full of the huge potentials lying in each individual citizens. Time had long gone when politicians, labor unions, regulated professions, lobbyists, and governments per se were esteemed more important, not exactly any longer. The emergence of the Information Age with its untold leverages, is rapidly reducing the essence of nation-state agents mentioned above. Why should we be hasty to copy the shortcomings of other nations but turn a blind eye to their commendable conducts and fail to reproduce the foreign developmental accomplishment within our nation with this same fervour and intensity? Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Indeed, Information Age has already changed both the distribution of wealth, the old practice of information dissemination, and a whole lot of other things, particularly anywhere satellite transmission reaches, and is apparently one of the reasons for the bitterness of the recent Nigeria’s politicians war against social media activities.

Orajiaku, a freelance journalist and social activist, writes via

[email protected]


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